Central African Republic facts for kids

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Central African Republic

République centrafricaine
Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka
Flag of the Central African Republic
Coat of arms
Motto: "Unité, Dignité, Travail"  (French)
"Unity, Dignity, Work"
Anthem: La Renaissance  (French)
E Zingo  (Sango)
The Renaissance
Location of the Central African Republic
and largest city
Official languages French
Ethnic groups
33% Baya
27% Banda
13% Mandjia
10% Sara
7% Mboum
4% M'Baka
4% Yakoma
2% other
Demonym(s) Central African
Government Republic
• President
Faustin-Archange Touadéra
• Prime Minister
Simplice Sarandji
Legislature National Assembly
• from France
13 August 1960
• Total
622,984 km2 (240,535 sq mi) (43rd)
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
4,422,000 (124th)
• 2003 census
• Density
7.1/km2 (18.4/sq mi) (223rd)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
• Total
$3.641 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$2.165 billion
• Per capita
Gini (1993) 61.3
very high
HDI (2011) 0.343
low · 179th
Currency Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (not observed)
Driving side right
Calling code 236
ISO 3166 code CF
Internet TLD .cf

The Central African Republic (CAR) (French: République centrafricaine, pronounced: [ʁepyblik sɑ̃tʁafʁikɛn], or Centrafrique [sɑ̃tʀafʀik]; Sango Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is mostly a plateau or high, flat piece of land about 941 metres above the sea. The CAR covers a land area of about 240,000 square miles (620,000 km2), and has an estimated population of about 4.4 million as of 2008. Bangui is the capital city.

There are thick forests in the south, and these are home to rare gorillas. This part of Africa also has Pygmies.

Other important towns are Bouar, Zinga, and Ouadda. Its southern border is the Ubangi River. There are 3.8 million people in the C.A.R. Most of them belong to the Banda and Baya tribes. The main language is French but some people speak the national language of Sango.

The people mostly grow their own food, but sometimes droughts (long spells without any rain) make this difficult. The C.A.R. also has diamond and uranium mines. It sells these, as well as cotton, coffee and timber to other countries to make money.

The Currency (type of money they use) is the CFA Franc. 1 US Dollar is worth 424.05 CFA Francs.

The country was ruled by France until 1960 when it became independent.


Ubangi river near Bangui
Ubangi River on the outskirts of Bangui.

The Central African Republic is a landlocked nation. It is bordered by the countries of Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

Much of the Central African Republic is flat, or rolling plateau savanna. It is typically about 500 metres (1,640 ft) above sea level. Most of the northern half is in the World Wildlife Fund's East Sudanian savanna ecoregion. In the northeast are the Fertit Hills. There are scattered hills in the southwest part of the country. To the northwest is the Yade Massif, a granite plateau with an altitude of 1,143 feet (348 m).

At 622,941 square kilometres (240,519 sq mi), the Central African Republic is the world's 42nd-largest country. It is about the size of the Ukraine, and is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas.

Much of the southern border is formed by tributaries of the Congo River. The Mbomou River in the east merges with the Uele River to form the Ubangi River. In the west, the Sangha River flows through part of the country. The eastern border is along the edge of the Nile River watershed.

Forest covers up to 8% of the land. The densest parts are in the south. The forest is highly diverse. It includes commercially important species of Ayous, Sapelli and Sipo. The deforestation rate is 0.4% per year, and lumber poaching is commonplace.


The Central African Republic is divided into 14 administrative prefectures. There are also 2 economic prefectures and one autonomous commune. The prefectures are further divided into 71 sub-prefectures.

The prefectures of the Central African Republic include:

  • Bamingui-Bangoran
  • Basse-Kotto
  • Haute-Kotto
  • Haut-Mbomou
  • Kémo
  • Lobaye
  • Mambéré-Kadéï
  • Mbomou
  • Nana-Mambéré
  • Ombella-M'Poko
  • Ouaka
  • Ouham
  • Ouham-Pendé
  • Vakaga

the two economic prefectures are Nana-Grébizi and Sangha-Mbaéré. The commune is Bangui.


Bangui Shopping District
Bangui City Centre

The largest cities in the Central African Republic are:

  1. Bangui - 622,771 (census 2006)
  2. Bimbo - 124,176
  3. Berbérati - 76,918
  4. Carnot - 45,421
  5. Bambari - 41,356
  6. Bouar - 40,303
  7. Bossangoa - 36,478
  8. Bria - 35,204
  9. Bangassou - 31,553
  10. Nola - 29,181

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